Kristi's April 2020 Health & Fitness Page 
Greetings all, I pray you are well amidst these times of uncertainty in the pandemic. I hope you are able to stay safe, stay connected via social distancing, and you are finding time to do the things you love to do even if at home.  In occupational therapy, we emphasize the importance of meaningful occupation, and habits, roles and routines in maintaining well being.  In order to maintain personal and mental health here are some suggestions:

1- Continue to find ways to get your daily exercise. Right now in Minnesota we can still go outdoors (it is advised not in heavily public places but with social distancing)- a walk, run or bike ride can do much for the soul. Be sure that any exercise regimen is approved by your health provider.

2- Continue to maintain good nutrition- this is so important for our immune systems in these times of Covid-19.

3- Maintain meaningful and healthful habits and routines.  Sometimes when we are at home we let our habits and routines completely shift (including sleep patterns), as much as possible maintain the routines that contribute to your mental and physical well being.

4- Take breaks from the Internet.  I personally know that too much Internet time can affect our health. It is important to do our jobs, and to stay connected, yet too, watch the number of hours sitting at the computer.  As a professor all of my classes are now online, thus requiring extensive computer time. I find it important to take breaks to do other meaningful activities, to exercise, to go for runs, and to spend time in nature.

5- Remain socially connected.  There are many ways to remain socially connected during this time of Covid-19. Let us maintain those connections with those loved, and too may we all remember those who are shut ins, lonely, or at risk.

Blessings to each of you!

Purple Pumpers 25th!!! 
This year marks our 25th year on the MS 150!  As of now the event is still on, however I will keep everyone apprised of the plans.

Over the years the event has become very meaningful to us as a couple of our long time members have developed MS, and too, we have friends and family members affected by MS.  Through the years our team has now raised over $150,000 to fight MS!  We would love your support again this year!  Please click on the links above the fine photos from last year's training rides and MS event :)! Again we will follow the Department of Health and CDC's recommendation during this time of Covid-19.

Here's a couple of photos from the past MS 150 events:

2008- Team pic on the Bridge                                                                                          2012 some of the team- (In memory of Ione- in the middle)

Left- dad (right); was the oldest at 85 riding in 2018                                      Last year's teams- the 24th Purple Pumpers!

You can support or join the team at the following links:

You can support here:
Kristi's MS 150 Team:

Kristi's MS 150 Purple Pumpers Page

Flashback Photos:

Left- One of our many Sunshine Factory outings                               Yours truly with instructor Kathy G.

Above--- A past event with some of our Group Fitness and Purple Pumper Friends get together for curling at the Frogtown curling club! Thanks to Tim for organizing!

Below:  Many of you remember my soul sister, and former Group Fitness Instructor Julie Hukriede... she and her husband moved to the North Shore a couple of years ago. Here are a couple photos from my time up there during Spring Break a previous year- remember not to visit the North Shore until Covid-19 is over, they do not have the hospital bed nor capacity to address an influx of tourists at this time. Thank you!

Yours truly and Former Instructor Julie enjoying Gooseberry Falls

Fabulous Health and Fitness Information
*Common signs of a stroke are (a) sudden weakness or paralysis (especially on one side of the body), (b) trouble seeing out of one eye, and (c), sudden trouble speaking including slurred speech or mixed sentences. According to the American Stroke Association, 3 tests you can do if you suspect someone may be having a stroke are: 1- Have the person smile (the mouth may drift to one side), 2- have the person repeat a simple sentence--the speech pattern may be off, and 3- have the person stretch out both arms--one arm may have weakness, or drift off. Remember, if you suspect a stroke, call 911 immediately.

*Common signs of a heart attack are (a) discomfort in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes (e.g., pressure, squeezing, fullness, pain), (b) unexplained pain in the upper body as in neck, jaw, or radiating down the arm, (c) shortness of breath, (d) other autonomic signs such as profuse unexplained sweating, cold sweat, nausea or light headed experiences. As with stroke, with any of these call 911.  Please see below as I was part of team that had to administer CPR at Lifetime a few years ago.


*If you haven't taken CPR lately, you may want to.  In recent years, the technique has been revised for adults so as to emphasize the chest compression portion of the technique.  Research has demonstrated higher survival rates for techniques emphasizing chest compressions rather than the artificial breathing.  Some of you know that I was part of a group this past month that responded to a cardiac arrest at the club. CPR was administered along with defribillation, thankfully the club member survived. We were told that he had a 97% blockage and that the CPR saved his life.

*The Weyerhaueser Foundation recommends that you put sponges and scrub brushes through the dishwasher on a regular basis in order to prevent gathering of harmful bacteria.

*In our society of fast food and packaged goods, people often get excess salt (sodium).  According to "low-salt favorites" publication, one corn torilla has 3 mg of salt but a flour tortilla may have up to 234 mg of sodium.  In addition, you can cut the salt content in canned veggies by 30-40% if you rinse them ahead of time.  >>>  We Americans eat too much fat.  in November 2007 the American Medical Association testified to the FDA that there is a need to urge Americans to reduce salt as it is a factor in high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.  Th American Council on Exercise identifies several means to reduce salt in your diet. Here are a few:

1.  Read food labels and pay attention to sodium content
2. Consume more potassium which helps blunt the unhealthy effects of salt
3.  eat as many fresh and whole foods as possible
4. Consume dairy products- they have lower amounts of salt
5. Limit fast foods
6.  Cook with whole, not processed foods
7. Try not to use too much added salt in your foods
8. Use alternative spices and flavor additives such as lemon juice

*According to a past article in the IDEA Fitness Journal, those that exercise regularly get sick less often in the winter months and those with a higher BMI (body mass index) that is beyond a healthy level are more likely to get ill. The same article stated that when ill, people tend to decrease exercise activity (often a good idea if very sick) and increase sleep time.

*A past edition of the IDEA Fitness Journal cites studies that show that self-compassion has benefits that include personal resilience, improved self-worth, and decreased impact of stress.

*A past Lifetime Experience Life magazine includes ways to decrease side aches (side stitches) that often occur in running.  Suggestions for prevention include slowly increasing your fitness workouts (e.g., slowly increase your runs), avoid eating heavy meals and drinking large amounts of water prior to a workout and strengthen your core muscles (such as we do in aerobics class!)

*As the weather gets warmer, use those extra opportunities for a little additional exercise. An extra 10 minute walk during the day, parking further from the store, and taking the stairs will provide a little extra boost to your day!!

**FINALLY AND IMPORTANTLY: As we are amidst the Covid-19 epidemic it is critical that people take seriously the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health (in Minnesota) and of the CDC. 
- Heed the advice to self-quarantine if you have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19.
-Contact your health professional (Virtuwell is a large telehealth system in MN), if you are experiencing symptoms.
-Maintain social distancing.
-Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and heed to recommendations on disinfecting.

CDC Recommendations can be found at the following link:  
Note- the above are for educational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare worker.

CDC Covid-19 Page


(photo taken on one of my runs)

May your days be bright
May you live life fully, love fervently
May you stay at home and stay safe and may we all strive to make a positive difference!


Kristi's Professional Web Page (tells a bit about my work as an occupational therapist and professor)
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